Saturday, May 1, 2010

Going Public

My first surgery, on April 21, 2010, was a success; the biopsy of my ovarian cyst showed no signs of ovarian cancer, and the necrotic fibroid that was pressing on my bladder was successfully removed. There was just one little snag - my appendix looked strange. They removed it as a precaution and did a biopsy. Just as I was getting ready to go back to school and get my life back to normal, I got a call from my oncologist - the biopsy of my appendix revealed a Carcinoid tumor; in short, I had cancer.

You can imagine our surprise, and the questions kept coming as we tried to learn more about my diagnosis. It turns out that "Carcinoid" is part of a group of tumors called neuroendocrine tumors (NET) that grow in hormone producing cells, and is classified as a "rare cancer" since only 11,000 - 12,000 carcinoid tumors are diagnosed in the United States each year.

At the suggestion of my family, I created a blog as a way for me to keep track of and share information. It was later suggested that I "go public" with the blog - the idea being that people could "follow" my would be like having my own little cheering section whenever I came to a new hurdle.

My family and I can't thank everyone enough. The outpouring of support, prayers and love has been incredible - I am truly blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful people. If you'd like to continue supporting me in this journey, simply press "follow" on the right hand side of the blog. For people new to this format, scroll down to the bottom of the page; posts are arranged from oldest (bottom) to newest (top). Feel free to share this blog with as many folks as you want - part if its purpose is also to promote awareness.

Thank you again for opening your hearts to me - I won't let you guys down!


  1. If you press follow on the right, you can set it so that you receive email updates when I post anything new :)

  2. whoops
    In trying to respond to your comment I by accident erased it! Want to keep it up for good I copied and pasted it below:
    love you and miss you!

    Janet Gibbons Calvo said...

    Your aunt in Nashville here --- Sending support to you virtually and in my heart!! I am a HUGE Jackie O fan and all about you channeling her. Cheering section here in Music City!!

  3. Hi Marlena, Karen from Nyack here captivated by your story and sending you well wishes as you struggle through this journey. I found a book very useful that I thought I would share with you. It helped me through a couple surgurys and is a wonderful way to meditate through to recovery. It is written by Peggy Huddleson and it is called.... Prepare for surgury, heal faster". A meditation CD and other useful techniques accompany the book. I will be wrapping you in a pink blanket and sending you my prayers. Love, Karen (Mary Di's pal)

  4. Hi Karen - thank you so much for the lovely note. I am so blessed with an amazing family - not only do I get Mary's love but her friends' love too...I'm a lucky girl!! I'm going to get that book - it sounds great :)